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Students Achieve Highest ISTEP Growth in Indianapolis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Phalen Leadership Academy/ December 14, 2016


PLA@93 Students Achieve Highest ISTEP Growth in Indianapolis.

While most public schools across Indiana and Indianapolis saw a decline in performance on the ISTEP standardized exam in the 2015-2016 school year, students at Phalen Leadership Academy/Project: RESTORE School #93 (PLA@93) achieved impressive gains.

At PLA@93, a public elementary school located on the east side of Indianapolis, over 80% of the school’s children come from low-income communities and 93% of students are African American, Latino, or multiracial. Schoolwide, the number of students passing both the English Language Arts and math portions of the ISTEP increased by 11% in comparison to 2014-2015. These gains represent the highest growth on ISTEP among public schools in Indianapolis. As a result, PLA/Project: RESTORE@93 also moved from being considered a “C” school to an “A” rated school in just one year.

“We are extremely proud of our teachers and scholars for their hard work,” said Nicole Fama, Principal at PLA@93. “Our PLA/Project: RESTORE model has delivered consistent success for the past seven years. After turning around other IPS schools, our success at PLA@93 was extremely important to us. We are proud to have earned double-digit gains when many institutions saw significant declines in growth, and we are very proud to be an ‘A’ school! We are now in a position to help even more scholars across the district and the state.”

PLA@93’s straightforward approach to creating a high quality school environment, combined with consistently superb execution, is its ‘recipe’ for success. The key components of its educational model include establishing high expectations for all students, providing rigorous instruction led by strong teachers, frequently assessing students’ academic and behavioral progress, and promoting positive behavior and growth through rewards and incentives.

The school’s model has previously been implemented at two low-performing schools - Arlington Woods #99 and Anna Brochhausen #88 - leading to the largest student achievement gains within Indianapolis Public Schools. "Those schools both went from failing to A-schools while implementing Project: RESTORE. We know what works for children," said PLA Founder Earl Martin Phalen, "and there needs to be an urgency to ensuring more and more children receive the quality of education that they deserve."